Friends invited me over to a party to celebrate their new Caja China and the roasting of a whole pig. Rich did all kinds of research and dutifully prepared the pig according to the instructions and other comments on the internet. I decided the party deserved beans so I cooked them in a huge clay pot. I started 8 pounds at home and cooked them on the stovetop with onions, garlic, olive oil and salt. When they were just shy of being perfect, I shut off the gas and went to the party.
The beanpot on fire performed beautifully and everyone agreed they were swell beans. (Good Mother Stallard, for the record.) The Caja China however did quite perform up to par. Hours and hours went by and the pig still wasn't done. I had to leave when the night came and my friends were still laughing and drinking and enjoying beans with no pork.